PA 6.6 situation continues to be very tense / Notations nevertheless largely stable in the holiday month / Stimulus for further price rise will remain effective into autumn
The sluggish demand usual during a traditional summer kept European prices for engineering thermoplastics stable on a broad front in August. Nevertheless, the strong upward stimulus - above all with PA 6.6 - remained consistently intense, but since there was very little material available, prices stagnated at the prior month's record level. With commodity-related ABS and PP compounds, the situation remained calm too.
In September, there are further increases expected in certain segments, although in many areas, the quarterly notations will slow down any price movements. Additionally, the restart of automotive activities is not exactly bubbling over at the moment.
Irrespective of this, calls for large increases for PA 6.6 are again on the table in a new round of price negotiations. With PBT, there have also been a rising number of announcements of hikes in the final month of Q3 after polyester products in Asia were shaken by the exploding PX price in recent weeks. The higher styrene reference will drive up ABS again, and presumably the PC/ABS blends too. PP compounds will probably rise only moderately. With PC, on the other hand, there are signs that prices will move in the opposite direction. The start-up of a new plant in China with a capacity of around 100,000 t/y is likely to improve global availability. However, whether this will have an effect on the European market before the end of September is questionable. For Q4, the prospects for PC customers are of cautious optimism.